SrinagarThe Centre’s special representative Dineshwar Sharma will be in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday for his second visit to the state during which he will visit migrant camps in Jammu as well as epicentres of unrest in the Valley.
Sharma, who visited Srinagar and Jammu earlier this month, will be in the state for four days, spending two days in Jammu before going to Kashmir, officials said.
In Jammu, he will visit camps of migrants from Kashmir as well as those displaced from border villages following shelling from Pakistan. In Kashmir, he will visit the “ground zero” of unrest in south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Anantnag districts, they said.
Sharma was appointed the Centre’s interlocutor on 23 October to hold talks with all stakeholders in an effort to find lasting peace.
He has already initiated a slew of measures, including withdrawal of cases against first-time stone pelters and improving the power situation in the Valley, officials said.
Giving details of his Jammu visit, they said he will interact with Kashmiri Pandit families at the camps.
Around 60,000 Kashmiri Pandit families migrated in 1990 after the onset of militancy. Of these, 39,000 families based themselves in various camps in Jammu.
The officials added that Sharma will also meet people who came from West Pakistan immediately after Partition in 1947 and settled in Jammu. There are nearly three lakh such people.
Besides, he will visit camps housing those displaced from their homes in border villages to understand their plight and ensure that they are properly rehabilitated.
The high point of his visit, officials said, will be his interactions with youths and students in Pulwama and Anantnag.
The districts were the epicentres of unrest following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen’s poster boy Burhan Wani on 8 July last year.
Pulwama also earned the notorious distinction of being the nerve centre of militancy with anti-insurgency operations being launched on a war footing in the area.
After his first visit to the Valley, Sharma had suggested that cases against 4,500 youths involved in stone pelting for the first time be dropped in a bid to win hearts.
Over 11,500 cases against stone pelters were registered since July last year following Wani’s death. Of these, over 4,500 were first-time stone pelters.
In a bid to resolve the Valley’s electricity crisis, especially during winters, Sharma also took the initiative of providing additional 300 MW to Kashmir this year.
Attempts are being made to ensure round-the-clock electricity supply by the beginning of winter next year, the officials said.
Talks are being held with Union power ministry for implementing the project.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.